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alltelleringet's avatar

Stack them on Top

A hopeless endeavour, a never ending job, impossible stacking of boxes. Stack them on top they said, an insurmountable task.

During the summer of 2003 I worked as a "Cardboard Box Supervisor" (swedish: kartongresare) at a large cheese packing factory. As fancy as it sounds I was pretty much just looking over the box folding machines and every 20-30 min topping up the glue in one machine and replacing the tape in another. Once in a while a box got stuck and I had to get it out of the machine. But they always kept on coming, day in, day out, never ending boxes. It was a quite uneventful monotonous job but it made me reflect on a lot of things.

This image represents the endless work circle. No matter how fast, precise or well we perform some tasks those tasks will keep on coming, in new shapes in new ways. However repetitive tasks will become automized and whether we like it or not we will have to rethink the word 'work' in the future.

What thoughts come to your mind when you see it? Would love to hear your thoughts!
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Art-Plus's avatar

Thoughts? When a package arrives at your door in a cardboard box, most people give little consideration to the environmental impact that the packaging alone has on the environment. There are several major e-commerce companies out there like Alibaba, eBay, and Taobao. Perhaps the most well known though is Amazon.

For just this one company, a single tree can produce roughly 152 boxes for Amazon and the demand on cardboard from e-commerce companies has only increased during the pandemic. While Amazon boxes contain some recycled materials, it's worth noting that Amazon ships an average of 608 million packages each year, which equates to (an estimated) 1,600,000 packages a day. That's not only a lot of cardboard boxes, it's a lot of trees. 10,526 trees a day to be exact, all inexplicably linked to our consumption.

harrietsfriend's avatar

would make a great game.


zackyashes's avatar

I like this a lot. It's like a beautiful look at the mundane things of life.

tichodr0ma's avatar

That's why they sang endless ballads while doing this kind of work in ye olden days... the only way to keep from going insane. I used to work in a supermarket and endlessly repeated songs from Cats in my head when my mind wasn't just a complete blank. I stacked a lot of cat food!

Thumper20's avatar

I'm always watching for a new pic from you- always love looking at them. Stacking boxes would;d certainly be a monotonous job, but someone has to do it! Haha! Keep 'em coming!

philbos's avatar

Well done Penrose/Escher yet again!

ScottEllington's avatar

Going postal. A sniper, Charles Whitman, on August 1, 1966 killed his wife and mother with blades, then climbed to a high window in the Tower at the University of Texas and shot 45 people (killing 14) in and around the tower before being killed by two Austin police officers.

This crime gave rise to police S.W.A.T. teams (Special Weapons and Tactics Unit) and the colloquial expression, "going postal" to describe the effect of employment involving never-ending, repetitive, thankless task that sometimes result in acts of terrible violence; thinking inside the box.

I expected the thumbnail of this image to yield a puzzling Escheresque conundrum. In a way, it has. The mixed "blessing" of increasing automation siphons jobs away from people replaced by efficient machines and impersonal systems but hasn't seemed to solve other problems, some of which seem to include guns, violence and Americans to an extent that remains bewildering, while S.W.A.T. teams and suicide-by-cop seem to have become lionized phenomena especially in Hollywood...where the revolt of efficient machines and soulless systems are fundamental memes for never-ending succession of blockbuster franchises. Mysterious as an Escheresque conundrum.

In place of the yellow cogwheels, and machine components, I'd like the single open box in this image contain the kinds of paper "center-mass" human targets we see in many movies and television shows in scenes set at indoor gun ranges, just to close a disturbing perceptual loop.



Very good variation of the impossible triangle! Good job!

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